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On Monday 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. These regulations replace existing pieces of legislation, which were repealed (or substantially repealed) at the end of 2018. 

Activities to be licensed

The Regulations provide a new single licensing regime for the following animal licensing activities:

There are a set of general conditions that apply to all licences and a set of specific conditions that apply to specific animal activity. It is necessary to comply with both sets of conditions.

An inspection of the premises will take place. Our inspections will be carried out by the City of London Animal Health inspectors, who will contact you to arrange a visit.

If you have a current licence under one of the above activities, you will need to apply for a licence under the new regulations when it expires.

The regulations and guidance notes regarding these conditions are available below.



There are no changes to Dangerous Wild Animal licences or Zoo licences.

The new application form and fee structure will be made available once  they have been determined. Full details will be published in due course.

Application form

Your licence will be granted or renewed if:

  • You have demonstrated that you are meeting or are capable of meeting the licence conditions, please read associated guidance above;
  • The appropriate fee has been paid; and
  • The grant or renewal is appropriate having taken into account the report received from the appointed qualified officer

Appeals process for animal licensing ratings

Businesses may challenge the star rating issued by the Council for licences under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018. The appeal procedure is relevant where any business wishes to dispute the star rating given as not reflecting the animal welfare standards and risk level of their business at the time of inspection.

If a business wishes to appeal the rating issued by the Council, the appeal should be made in writing to the licensing authority:

Licensing & Trading Standards Team Leader (Licensing Lead)
Richmond Council Licensing c/o
Merton Council
Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
100 London Road

Or via email at

Full details of the appeals process and other relevant documents are attached below:

Updated: 22 June 2020